Three people have been arrested in Japan for uploading cartoons from a comic before it was released via the Winny file sharing program:

"Arrested were Mitsukazu Tamashiro, 29, of Taisho Ward, Osaka, Kenji Kodama of Morioka, and a 17-year-old vocational high school student from Adachi Ward, Tokyo.

The three were arrested on suspicion of violating the Copyright Law.

The Kyoto prefectural police said it was the first time the law had been applied to uploading magazines to the Internet via Winny.

According to the police, on several occasions between Jan. 31 and April 5, the three allegedly scanned onto a computer 12 cartoons drawn by six cartoonists printed in comic magazines, including Weekly Shonen Sunday, published by Shogakukan Inc., and Weekly Shonen Jump, published by Shueisha Inc.

The police said the three put the pictures on the Internet to allow the public to read them.

The student posted three cartoons on the Internet four days before the magazine was released.

Three of the six cartoons put on the Internet by Kodama, 26, were posted one day before they were released.

The arrested reportedly admitted to the allegations, and one of them was quoted by police as saying, "I wanted to brag about being able to get comics before they were released."

They are believed to have said on the nation's largest Internet message board, 2channel, they would upload cartoons to the Internet, and posted messages to say some shops were selling comics prior to their release dates.

The police are investigating how they obtained the comics.

According to publishers, some shops are selling comics prior to the release dates, as they are delivered to outlying areas such as small islands several days before they are officially released."

Source: Daily Yomiuri